Rader Clinic celebrates new renovated facilities
June 24, 2011
After several years of planning U.S. Army Andrew Rader Health Clinic’s renovation is finally complete. All clinical services have been reunited in Bldg. 525.
“This building represents more than just a structure, but a symbol of what and whom we represent,” said Lt. Col. Jenifer Meno, Rader Health Clinic commander, at the ribbon cutting ceremony.
After more than a year of having its resources separated into three temporary buildings around Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, the ribbon cutting took place June 10.
The ribbon cutting was a final ceremony recognizing not only the namesake of the clinic, but also the hard work that went into bringing everything back together.
“We read a story like Capt. Rader’s. It makes your heart stop, it really does. The things people are able to do when called upon for the person to their left or right is astonishing,” said Col. Leon Moores, Medical Activity commander.
Several members of the Andrew Rader Family were on hand to celebrate the re-dedication of the building to a beloved, missed Family member"a Family member commonly referred to as Andy.
Rader’s great nephew not only lived in the area when the clinic first opened he also worked on the renovation project. Richard Rader’s father was in The Old Guard when the clinic first opened.
“The project turned out good … it’s quite a transformation from what this place was,” said Rader. “Being part of the Family here is something I’ll always keep in my repertoire as quite an accomplishment.” Only a few Family members survive who actually knew the medical officer who was taken prisoner of war during World War II and cared for over 2,000 fellow American prisoners between September 1942 and October 1944. Rader, and hundreds of other American prisoners were aboard a Japanese transport ship that was torpedoed in the South China Sea on Oct. 24, 1944.
“He’s been missed a long time, not just at the ribbon cutting but all through the years,” said Jean F. Jones, Rader’s niece. “One of the things I remember is my cousin and I used to go … to stay with my grandmother ... One night my cousin was ill … she had an awful headache and he was there so they called him in to check her out. She had too many bobby pins in her hair. He told her she was fine.”
A few Family members even commented on how Rader’s work is continued to this day, because the clinic is named for him. With updated facilities, this mission is going to be accomplished more efficiently now that all facilities are together again.
“The accessibility is a lot easier, [there is] less travel, more parking and our patient flow has been a lot quicker,” said Staff Sgt. Juan C. Ayarza, noncommissioned officer in charge of Rader’s Specialty Clinic. He said you can see the relief on patients’ faces when you tell them they only have to go to one clinic instead of driving all over base.
The Specialty Clinic includes the eye clinic, podiatry, a dietician and other services. Prior to moving back into the main clinic, the Specialty Clinic had been located in Bldg. 406, in former a barracks building commonly known as the Rader Annex Clinic. “The biggest renovations are more clinical space, more room for doctors to work and a combined waiting room,” said Rader Deputy Commander of Administration Lt. Col. Kevin Bonds. “What it does is consolidate a lot of the waiting space in one place allowing more room to treat patients with less wasted space.” Bonds explained that one half of the building was renovated at a time, with one set of activities moving into the newly renovated space while the other half moved out to accommodate construction. “I think it is [more accessible], we have all our hallways, doorways and elevators totally revamped " gutted and built from the ground up,” he said. “[And with] the number of patients we have that can’t climb stairs, that’s a huge plus.”
Bonds said teamwork is much better now that everything is pulled back together. “Bringing them back together … we grouped services for better accessibility, better cross-talk. Before, you could communicate by phone and e-mail, but nothing is like [on the spot] consultation...” “We’re back to one Family, which to me is important,” said Ayarza.
“It’s all one machine we’re working strong to make it a better tomorrow, get better patient flow, have more accessibility for patients. Everybody loves it so far,” said Ayarza.